Used by chefs to produce elegant dishes like beef Wellington, the filet is considered by some to be the ultimate indulgence in steak. Cut from the tenderloin, the filet has little marbling which is great news for those wanting to include red meat in a healthy diet. A 4 ounce serving has almost 33 grams of protein but only 200 calories and 6.5 grams of fat. The lack of marbling, however, means less natural flavor and juices -- which makes this cut perfect for barding. A French technique that involves wrapping meat in fat, barding prevents meat from drying out while being roasted. Using bacon as the fat of choice brings flavor to the meat in addition to maintaining moisture. With the barding technique, a heavy skillet and a hot oven, a perfectly prepared filet is within reach without a restaurant visit.
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Preparing the Steaks
Liberally rub the steaks all over with coarse black pepper.
Wrap the bacon around the circumference of each steak letting the bacon overlap by only 1/4-inch or so. Trim off any excess and wrap kitchen string around the middle of the bacon and tie off.
Sprinkle the top and bottom of steaks with kosher salt.
Cooking the Filet
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking.
Using tongs, carefully add the steaks to the skillet and let them cook untouched for 3 or 4 minutes or until they release easily.
Turn the steaks and immediately transfer the skillet to a preheated 425-degree oven and cook steaks an additional 10 minutes for medium rare and up to 15 for well done. Serve immediately with pan juices.
- Saveur.com: The Finest Cut
- Livestrong.com: MyPlate
- Larousse Gastronomique; Genevieve Beullac
- Pan-Seared Filet Mignon with Roasted Potatoes and Merlot Sauce